Advancing policies and federal, state, and, local legislation that will help prevent FASD or benefit individuals and families living with the condition is an important part of the NOFAS mission. NOFAS works with its affiliates, partners, and other FASD stakeholders to identify issues, develop strategies, and communicate a policy and legislative agenda to advocates and policymakers. NOFAS advocacy activities include:
- Briefing lawmakers, legislative staff, and other policymakers;
- Training advocates;
- Drafting policy papers and legislation;
- Issuing action alerts;
- Updating FASD stakeholders and the general public on the status of FASD-related policies and legislation;
- Integrating advocacy into NOFAS programs and media outreach.
Current policy and legislative items that NOFAS is following include:
- S.237, the Advancing FASD Research, Prevention, and Services Act introduced in the U.S. Senate. NOFAS has issued and Action Alert urging FASD advocates to contact their U.S. senators asking them to cosponsor the bill;
- The inclusion of FASD in DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) published by the American Psychiatric Association [Update: Neurobehavioral Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure has been included in a section of DSM-5 listing conditions that have clinical guidelines and criteria, but require additional research in the form of clinical trials to validate the criteria for diagnostic use with patients;
- An FASD resolution to be considered by the American Bar Association [Update: PASSED unanimously on August 7, 2012].
Check back soon for more information about NOFAS advocacy.